Over 100 Years of Technology Services in
Dumont, Iowa, and Surrounding Communities
The Dumont Telephone Company, as it’s known today, did not start in the town of Dumont, but in neighboring Hansell.
On March 28, 1901, a meeting was held for the purpose of organizing and building a farmer’s telephone line. It was determined that this new company would be called the Ingham Township.
On April 20, 1901, the company set off to sell shares of stock in the new venture and placed an order for 625 sixteen and twenty-foot poles. They had to adopt rules for the use of these new telephones, with eight in total. It was noted in the minutes that there shall be no more than 25 telephones on one line. The phone service caught on quickly in Eastern Franklin County.
On February 1, 1902, at a special meeting, the Ingham Township Mutual Telephone Company voted to incorporate and adopt articles of incorporation.
On August 20, 1902, Cedar Valley Telephone Company of Waterloo presented the Hansell Co. a contract for connecting them to their switchboard and extending their service to the town of Dumont. It was decided not to accept the contract and to extend into Dumont independently.
In February of 1905, it was decided to extend a line to the town of Aredale.
In 1909, it was decided to buy enough wire to build a line to Pill Town. At that point, they would meet the West Point Mutual Telephone Company of Bristow, Iowa, thus connecting two switchboards in two different towns.
On December 30, 1911, the board met to accept the offer of Mr. R. Labatra to work for the company. He was hired to take charge of the Dumont Central, furnish all help, horse and buggy to get over the lines, to keep the books, collect all switching, rents and tolls, and repair all company phones.
In May of 1916, a toll line was constructed to the Butler County Telephone Company at Kesley, Iowa, along with toll lines to Aredale, Bristow, and Hampton. The Dumont Telephone Company was now a long-distance company as well as a local company.
On January 18, 1918, the company purchased a suitable car for the manager’s use to replace the horse and buggy. In an attempt to reduce the amount of wire in town, it was decided to place underground cable in Dumont. The Kellogg Switchboard and Supply Company set the best bid at $1,707.15.
In September of 1922, the Dumont City Council asked the telephone company if they would consider providing 24-hour service. The phone company established a rate of $.50 for line rings or general calls. At the next meeting, it was decided to give continuous service to subscribers.
By October of 1931, the Great Depression had made its presence in rural Butler and Franklin counties. The rate of phone service decreased to 25￠a month.
In 1936, the Dumont Telephone Company became a member of the Iowa Telephone Association.
On August 5, 1951, the Dumont Telephone Company sold the lines in and around Hansell to Northwestern Bell for $6,500.
In 1955, the property behind the State Bank of Dumont (the phone company was previously located on the second floor of it) was offered for sale and the phone company decided to purchase the frame house and move the telephone switchboard and office to the new location.
In April of 1960, the Dumont company decided to participate in its first regional telephone directory with the Northwestern Bell Co.
In January 1963, the company converted the telephone system to a dial system.
In April 1964, William R. Blakley started as the new General Manager.
In May of 1966, the company ordered its first underground cable for installation into the rural areas of its exchange.
In 1966, Northwestern Bell offered to sell automatic number identification equipment. At first, the offer was turned down, but later on, it was bought by one of the directors.
In 1975, the company installed equipment that allowed for touch-tone telephones to be used along with the original rotary dial telephones in their exchange.
On September 9, 1982, cable TV was finally introduced in Dumont. It was also introduced in Bristow in 1989 and Geneva in 1990.
At the April 11, 1984, annual meeting, stockholders voted to authorize the board to proceed with the construction of a new office building.
On December 15, 1984, an open house was held in the new building.
On April 6, 1986, it was decided to purchase a digital switch. Also during this time, we purchased 22.5 miles of our long-distance toll cable from Dumont to Sheffield.
On June 25, 1990, we opened a telemarketing center in Dumont under a partnership agreement with the North Central Telemarketing Company of Sioux City, Iowa.
On March 28, 1991, the telemarketing operation was taken over and became a subsidiary managed by the telephone company.
On April 10, 1997, Dumont purchased the Allison Exchange from US West, adding 850 customers to the existing 680.
On December 31, 1997, William Blakley retired after being the manager for over 33 years. Roger Kregel then took over as manager.
In 1997, the company began offering dial-up internet to the customers of Dumont and Allison.
During the winter months of 1998, the telemarketing center was leased to an outside agent. The Dumont Telephone Company still owns the telemarketing buildings and equipment.
In 1998, a complete rebuild of the Allison telephone plant was completed. New telephone and coax cable was buried in-ground to every house and business within the city limits. A spare inner duct was buried between every pedestal for future technology.
In October 1999, the board approved the purchase of a directional boring machine, which was used in the latest technology for the use of installing underground cable.
In September of 2000, the company began providing cable TV services to the city of Allison.
In 2001, the company began offering high-speed internet to the Dumont and Allison telephone subscribers.
By 2003, every telephone customer had access to high-speed internet if they wanted it.
On January 1, 2004, the company began its conversion from analog to digital cable TV service. The conversion was done on March 31, 2004. Now the company provides digital cable TV service to all customers in Dumont, Bristow, and Allison. The new service includes Pay Per View, Music, and Movieplexes.
In 2005, due to a director’s retirement from the board, it was decided to reduce the number of directors from eight to seven.
In 2006, a seven-year plan to rebuild the entire Dumont exchange with fiber-to-the-home began. The project completed on time in 2012 and built our first cell tower in Parkersburg.